Coalition Targeting ISIS’s Oil

US and coalition aircraft have started a large-scale operation against ISIS’s oil infrastructure, taking the name of the offensive from a similar World War II campaign against the oil infrastructure of Nazi Germany. Operation Tidal Wave II began Oct. 21 with a “massive strike” on an ISIS-controlled oil field in Syria, and it has continued with dozens more airstrikes aimed at shutting “those oil facilities down completely,” coalition spokesman Army Col. Steve Warren told reporters Nov. 13. The coalition has conducted large air strikes on two oil facilities, at Dayr az Zawr and Abu Kamal in Syria, taking out oil and gasoline separation facilities and other parts of the oil processing facilities. The goal is to take out important parts of the facilities, while still making it so the facilities can be rebuilt after the war. About two-thirds of the group’s oil financing comes from these two facilities, Warren said. The new offensive is different than previous strikes because the coalition has built intelligence on the proper places to strike to keep the facilities down for an extended period of time. “We’ve been targeting their oil since the very beginning,” Warren said. “We learned over time though … the strikes we’re taking were against pieces of the oil system that were easily repaired or replaced.”